The Osun State government and the state's All Progressives Congress on Tuesday traded blame following an incident of suspected food poisoning that led to about 18 students being treated at a hospital.

The victims, said to be students of James B Primary School, Osogbo, Osun State, were reportedly treated in hospitals on Monday following complications they developed, linked to the mid-day meal served to them at their school, under the free school meals from the government. program.

The incident caused panic, especially among parents of the affected students, as videos of them in hospital beds were shared on social media.

When our correspondent visited the school on Tuesday, the staff he encountered did not allow him to enter the premises, saying that the students were taking their first semester examination.

Narrating how they fell ill, one of the victims said they were served rice and eggs and then began to evacuate.

Also in the video, the victims' mothers said they observed the bad smell of the egg served to their children when they returned from school on Monday.

They said their children began defecating shortly after returning from school, raising concerns about the food the vendor served them. They demanded an investigation into the development to prevent recurrence.

But speaking on Tuesday, the Osun State Commissioner for Education, Mr. Dipo Eluwole, said over 100 students received the food and wondered why only about 11 of them who lived in the same complex were the only ones affected.

Eluwole, who said the affected students were welcomed into the written examination when ministry officials visited the school on Tuesday, further explained that after they completed the examination, they were informed of the government's plan for them to be examined at a public hospital, their parents The students declined the offer.

He said: “More than a hundred students ate the food. But around 11 of them, who live in the same complex, were the ones who were affected. Upon arriving at school on Tuesday, we met the affected students in the writing exam. After the exam, we told them that we would transfer them to a hospital for further testing, but their parents declined the offer.

“We shot that scene. When I was told what the parents of the affected students said, I ordered the school in-charge to hand over the students to government officials and they were taken to UNIOSUN Teaching Hospital, Osogbo. After being examined, doctors told us there was nothing wrong with them.

“One of the students is malnourished. After she was examined, we were informed that the only food that particular student eats daily is what the government serves them at school. The girl is malnourished. We told the hospital to admit her and treat her for malnutrition. However, we have alerted the hospital to ensure they keep an eye on her so that the opposition party does not kidnap her and blame the government.

“We interviewed some of the parents and they said that one Boda Wasiu asked them to say everything they said on camera yesterday (Monday). They said nothing affected their children. We don't want the person who gave us this tip to be tagged. But we want the said Wasiu to be detained and answer questions about what they alleged he did. We don't want to mention the source so they don't attack it. That Wasiu is a card-carrying member of the APC. They just want to tarnish the name of this administration.”

But commenting on the incident, the Chairman of Osun APC, Mr. Tajudeen Lawal, warned the governor, Ademola Adeleke, to stop playing with the lives of students of the school with the substandard food served to students by vendors under the program of school feeding.

Lawal, in a statement obtained in Osogbo, said the incident was a cumulative effect of the lackadaisical approach of the man who is in charge of the affairs of the state.

The APC state chairman said: “The humanity in me became uncomfortable when one of the victims’ mothers reported the condition of her son that immediately her son came back from school and started smelling an unpleasant odor of rotten eggs. Is it true that only the paltry N64 was budgeted for each student per meal? Is it true that Adeleke government pays N10,000 per month to every O’Meal seller?

“If these allegations are true, then Governor Adeleke must have a clear talk with her Creator. How dedicated would food vendors be when they receive peanuts and are not supplied with adequate food at a time when he himself was budgeting billions for his own food and drinks?

“The affected children are the future leaders of this country. If Governor Adeleke had been fed rotten eggs when he was a student, as was the case with innocent children, would he have been guaranteed the opportunity to become the controversial governor he is today?

“All stakeholders should rise up to condemn the laissez-faire approach to governance of Governor Adeleke, which partially manifested itself in the suspected poisoning of 18 students with his ill-thought-out and low-quality free school meals program. ”

Source